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2012 Kia Optima Hybrid Review
There she is…sitting in the parking lot of our complex, waiting for the Kia guy to take her far, far away. I seriously wanted to cry. Why? Because I ADORE the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid! Yes. Adore. I adore the blasted thing.
We were given the chance to test the 2012 Optima Hybrid for a week and yes, I jumped right on that. Who wouldn’t? This car boasts a lot of features and since we’re in the market for a new car anyhow, I wanted to put those features to the test. Let me say this. It went above and beyond what I ever expected. Tom and I had both been of the opinion that cars that bore the Kia name just weren’t that great. No one we knew had owned one and liked it and that’s a big thing for us. The 2012 Optima Hybrid though? Completely changed our way of thinking.
First off, the 2012 Optima Hybrid boasts a stylish design and up to 40mpg on the highway. I can beat that though. On a trip from San Marcos, TX back home to Austin, we were actually getting 50 mpg!! That’s CRAZY insane gas mileage! We drove this car HARD for that week (running back and forth dealing with family things) and we had to top the tank ONCE. We got over 400 miles on ONE tank of gas. Something like that is HUGE in an economy like what we deal with today. The Optima Hybrid has both an electric and gasoline engine that work in combination with each other and as a result, you get some crazy gas mileage.
As for the vehicle itself? Love. It’s sleek, it’s very stylish and it flows very well when riding in the car. The seats are easily adjustable with power seating, and the one we drove included 2 driver profiles that will auto adjust to the correct driver’s seat position with the push of a button. The seats were comfortable to ride in and there was more than enough room to ride a distance comfortably in the front. I didn’t sit in the backseat, but my Emma had no issues. My mother-in-law type person did say though that while the backseat was fine on a 2 hour ride, that she would be unsure about taking a 12-16 hour trip back there because they could become hard under your bum. Is all good though, pillows are great for that.
Drive wise, this thing handled like a DREAM. At 70/mph, it rode so smooth that if I hadn’t looked at the speedometer, I wouldn’t have thought we were doing 70. It has a ton of “get up and go” as well which is likely (in my humble, non-automotive opinion) is because of the combo of the 2 engines. It will move when you need it to and handle itself just as easy and smooth as it does at 25/mph. My ONLY complaint on the entire test was that it has a bigger blind spot behind the drivers side than I’m used to. However, that very well could have been MY error and not the car. That is NOT a huge issue though for the most part because it does feature a back up camera that will automatically kick in anytime the car is in reverse.
The interior panel was spiffy too (yes, yes I did just go there and use spiffy.. ) With push button and touch screen controls for the stereo (Sirus, AM/FM, CD and iPod/phone hookups), Maps, a/c and heat (dual climate control ROCKS btw) it’s extremely user friendly. Controls are also located on the steering wheel itself so that you don’t have to take your eyes off of the road while driving to skip that song you don’t like or turn the a/c down. The 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid is also bluetooth compatible and has voice activated controls (with options installed at purchase). The car also features push button start, heated side mirrors (that also do the foldy up thingy to keep them from getting hit), heated rear seats and a ton more!
The Optima Hybrid was the first Kia vehicle to offer the company’s proprietary UVO powered by Microsoft®3 voice-activated infotainment system, which is paired with the AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio capabilities with three months complimentary service4, back-up camera, auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting with MP3 players and Bluetooth®5 wireless connectivity with steering wheel-mounted controls. (source)
All in all? I. Want. One. With a MSRP price tag starting at just $25,700, you can’t go wrong with this car. Seriously. I’m not kidding. I want..and I will have. This car, in 7 days, convinced me not only to drive a Hybrid, but also that I needed to become a Kia owner. For more information, check out the video below from Motortrends or visit the Kia Motors Website.
***NOTE: While I was provided a car to drive for 7 days, the opinions posted here are 100% mine and are 100% honest. Like George Washington, I tell no lie. I adore this car. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.